Hole in the Wall - Montessori Project
This is the second Montessori pre-school project I am opening in the rural Transkei and we please need your support to ensure sustainability of the project. Montessori education must not be reserved for wealthy city children, it must be available to everyone!The 1st Ikhaya Labantwana MontessoriThe first Montessori pre-school project I opened was Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori - Coffee Bay, in February 2010 in a 5m rented rondawel and we provided 15 children aged 2½ - 5 years old, with Montessori pre-school education in a stimulating and safe learning environment. The community quickly saw the benefit of investing in the development of young children, as the number of children on our waiting list did not stop growing. Due to the long waiting list of 60 children, I approached the government’s National Development Agency for assistance and they supported and approved my project in September 2011. They funded the building of a new early learning centre that would accommodate 60 young children. We moved into our new building in April 2013 and have been providing a stimulating early learning environment guided in both isiXhosa and English and 2 healthy meals per day. We are trying to integrate education, health, nutrition and social services, which will lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning. 7 Local ladies qualified with a Montessori ECD higher certificate NQF Level 5 in October 2015 which was sponsored by Montessori Centre South African and Stichting Obonto NPO in Holland.
In September 2014, I entered Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori and myself into the Early Childhood Development Awards for the Eastern Cape. I had not heard anything by January 2015, so did not think about it much. In February I received a call to say that we were in the Top 5 for the Eastern Cape and that I needed to attend the Awards Ceremony at Hemingways Casino in East London. It was a very smart affair and all the top people from the different sectors were there.
Ikhaya Labantwana Montessori won the award for Best ECD Centre in the Eastern Cape and I won the Best ECD Practioner Award 2014 for the Eastern Cape.
We then had to attend the National Early Childhood Development Awards Ceremony on 24 March 2015 at Montecasino in Johannesburg. IKhaya Labantwana Montessori and myself were representing the Eastern Cape at the Awards. Wow, what a lovely week we had. Meeting all kinds of people doing the same kind of work from all the provinces – it was very enriching.
The Awards ceremony was a big, shiny event at the Ballroom at Montecasino and all the Ministers and MEC’s were in attendance. I was blessed to receive the Award for Best ECD Practitioner in South Africa 2014.
My portion of the prize money allowed me to take a much-needed sabbatical, which I did and thoroughly enjoyed, from August – December 2015.
During this period, I moved from Coffee Bay to Hole in the Wall and have really been enjoying living here. During my sabbatical I was often approached by local mama’s, asking me when I was opening a pre-school here at Hole in the Wall. I explained that I was on a rest period, and we would look in 2016. In January this year, a local family approached me and gave me a rondawel, asking me to please do what I did in Coffee Bay. I was overwhelmed, as clearly my life path has been decided for me.
We were given this old rondawel and with great thanks to Stichting Obonto NPO and Actie Adoptie at Canisius College in Holland, they paid for the renovations of the rondawel and for the building of a kitchen/storeroom. We currently have 14 young, rural Xhosa children attending Ncinci One's Montessori and there are 22 children on the waiting list.We really need to build and equip another rondawel so that more rural children can access good quality early childhood development and build solid foundations. I guide the children in English and we have a Xhosa teacher assistant who directs them in isiXhosa. The children receive a solid Montessori foundation, as well as 2 nutritious meals per day, a daily calcium supplement and de-worming twice a year.How you can help:1. Donate building supplies2. Make a donation towards building supplies3. Get a group of friends together and sponsor a child at R500 per month3. Make a general donation5. Donate any stationary/Montessori materialsWhat you will get in return:1. A good feeling - knowing you are helping a young rural child get the best start to life2. Once a term you will get some photo's of the child (in action) you are sponsoring, as well as a piece of their artwork“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice. Like Slavery and Apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings. Sometimes it falls on a generation to be great. YOU can be that great generation. Let your greatness blossom.”I look forward to hearing from you.Yours in Montessori